The press event called by several public labor organizations convened in an upstairs conference room across from the Capitol with a single goal: Make it clear that the unions were angry about a pension reform bill on the verge of becoming law.
To what degree the outrage was real or feigned remains a matter of debate. What was clear on that warm August day was that the changes to state and local public pensions preserved defined benefit pensions for current government employees. Workers hired after Jan. 1, 2013, would work longer for lesser benefits.
But it could have been worse for labor, and they knew it. Some proposals -- including one floated by Gov. Jerry Brown -- sought to replace defined benefit pensions for future hires with plans that mixed smaller traditional retirement guarantees with a 401(k)-type savings component. The bipartisan Little Hoover Commission went even further with a 2011 report that suggested putting current and future employees into defined contribution plans (which would have invited a huge court fight).
Ah, the memories. Relive the moment through The State Worker's 7th most-read post, Unions blast California public pension reform plan.